Can you imagine a scenario where your child is in their mid-thirties and still buried in student debt? This is a reality for many parents. By including financial literacy in your home school curriculum you will have an instrumental role in providing a brighter future for your child.
In talking with parents that homeschool their children, most understand the importance of teaching practical money matters. Unfortunately, many parents don’t know where to start. They never received a practical financial education in school and there is a shortage of homeschool financial education curriculum on the market.
If you do not currently homeschool your kids, you must when it relates to the subject of financial literacy! Financial literacy isn’t taught in most public high schools and in recent surveys it has shown over 70% of young adults look to their parents as the primary source of financial education.
School curriculum is focused almost exclusively on the subjects need to get young adults to be accepted into college. That’s important however; equally important is the need to be financially prepared for when they step on a college campus. The moment they arrive on many college campuses the credit card companies are right there offering free gifts for any student that signs up for a student credit card.
So that your home schooled child is prepared for the financial real world when they go off to college here are some simple steps that will help you feel confident that they can handle the temptation of easy credit and succeed financially.
1. Relate money to lifestyle. Most young people are not motivated by having a large bank account. It’s what money provides them that gives them the encouragement to learn money management skills. It’s the experiences they want to have, places they want to travel, the people they want to help and getting the toys they dream about.
Discover what your child wants, what they dream about and relate that to money. It’s a great homeschool exercise that allows you to connect with your child on a deeper level while teaching them a valuable skill.
2. Develop a savings plan. Give your child a head start by developing a savings plan. As a part of your homeschool curriculum, have them manage their own finances and create a working budget. If your child still lives at home require them to save at least forty percent of the money they earn or are gifted for long term savings. This not only will get them started building a nest egg but will help them develop a good savings habit.
An essential element to include in your homeschool budget curriculum is to help them understand the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’. Wanting a $5 dollar cup of coffee everyday adds up to over $1800 per year. This essential homeschooling lessons will help to counteract the years of ‘buy, buy, buy’ advertisements they are exposed to.
3. Open Accounts. To have your child participate in a real world homeschool activity that will set them up for the future, have them open their savings and checking account. Your child will need them anyway so why not get them started early. Plus you will find that the longer relationship hey establish with a bank the more benefits they will receive.
Their student checking account is the center of their finances. It is suggested they open two student savings accounts. One for long-term savings and another student savings account for fun things they want to experience. The long-term student savings account will give them financial security while the fun student savings account allows them to fully experience life now.
4. Invest early and consistently. When homeschooling your child on of the most important math lessons you can teach is the power of ‘compounding interest’. This allows your child to make money off the initial investment plus all the money the money that the investment already returned.
In your homeschool math curriculum, show them how fast a small investment can add up. Just a $80 investment made each month could mean over a million dollars in their account when they are in their fifties. Homeschooling your child with these practical financial lessons will give them an advantage that most people won’t have.
Financial education needs to be a central part of your teenager’s homeschool curriculum. With a practical financial education they will avoid the most common financial mistakes, be able to enjoy life more and will be well on their way to securing their financial future.